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Ford Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 50 Ford models based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

A coolant leak from the radiator can be caused by a defective thermostat bypass. This can cause pressure spikes in the cooling system, which leads to radiator failure. The thermostat assembly and radiator should be replaced.

The magnet for the camshaft position sensor may fall out of its mount and damage the synchronizers. This causes long crank times when starting the engine and may cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate. If this happens, both the magnets and the synchronizers need to be replaced.

If you experience cold starting problems, stalling at idle, or hesitations during acceleration, it may be the idle air bypass valve. This valve helps the vehicle idle steadily and run when the accelerator pedal is not pressed.

If a noise from the rear end is heard when going around turns or after driving at highway speed for an extended period, this could be caused by a failing differential clutch kit. An updated differential clutch kit available.

If you experience difficulty starting the engine when cold, stalling at idle, or hesitations during acceleration, it may be the idle air bypass valve. This valve helps the vehicle idle steady when the accelerator pedal is not pressed.

While driving the Ford Five-Hundred, operators may notice harsh shifting or slippage of the transmission. This may not illuminate the check engine light

This is caused by software issues in many cases, however, internal transmission failure may be the culprit as well. In some instances, the failure has been attributed to the ‘sealed-for-life’ nature of the transmission, as the transmission fluid may break down before the transmission is taken out of service.

 

The manufacturer of the transmission, which is a third party, has issued many software updates, but when these updates fail to correct concerns, the transmission must be removed, disassembled, inspected, and repaired. 

From 2006-2012, the Ford Fusion was built with a six-speed automatic transmission built by a third-party manufacturer, as is the case with most transmissions.

For this specific automatic transmission, there is a common complaint regarding the harshness of shifts, as well as slight slippage when the transmission is hot.

In most cases, these issues arise from faulty software, which does not account for all variables as the transmission warms to normal operating temperature. In other cases, the valve body or shift solenoids are found to be faulty.

Software updates and software patches have been developed for these transmissions, and that is normally sufficient to correct drivability issues. If resetting the transmission controller and updating the transmission proves insufficient to correct concerns, the transmission will likely require rebuild or replacement before performance is returned to normal.

These transmissions were built and sold as ‘sealed for life’, but many have found that the automatic transmission fluid is not reliable for the complete service life of the vehicle.

A ticking noise may develop from the engine due to a cracked exhaust manifold. Damaged exhaust manifolds will require replacement to correct this issue.

The common problem for ignition misfires are ignition coils going bad. Replacement of the bad ignition coil is necessary. These should be fixed as soon as a problem is detected. Otherwise the misfire can cause damage to other components.

The Ford Expedition has known issues with the V8 engine ejecting spark plugs. This will make a tapping or knocking noise, plus the engine will begin to misfire at all speeds. The check engine light will also illuminate.

The threads on the cylinder head are too short and soft, allowing pressure from combustion to overwhelm and destroy the threads. 

When the spark plug ejects, the cylinder head becomes damaged, necessitating repair of the spark plug port threads, or replacement of the cylinder head and cylinder head gasket. 

Ford has recommended a method of repair for the cylinder head that prevents the spark plug from ejecting under future use. Replacement of all spark plugs is not necessary, but an updated spark plug design can help prevent this from happening in the future. 

There is a technical service bulletin for the V8 engine.

The 1997-2001 Ford Ford Crown Victoria, with a 100% plastic intake manifold, is known for engine overheating, even with normal use, and a coolant leak from the front of the manifold. This will often trigger the check engine light and low engine coolant warning light.

The engine coolant leak is from a factory defect, which causes cracking on the front coolant passage of the intake manifold. In a very short time, this leak will lead to engine overheating issues, especially while the vehicle is idling.   

Between 1999 and 2001, Ford released an updated version of this engine, known as the 'PI' version with a metal coolant passage on the front of the intake manifold, to prevent future issues.

There is no factory authorized repair for the intake manifold, and replacement is required to correct the engine coolant leak and overheating issues.

 

The cooler for the EGR valve can leak coolant internally, which causes white smoke to come from the tail pipe. Hot exhaust gases are cooled by the EGR cooler before being circled back into the engine.

A rattling noise from the engine may indicate that the timing chain cassette is worn. Our technicians tell us that installing an updated cassette and timing chain tensioner should correct this concern.

A defective electronic throttle body (ETB) can cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate and could have limited to no throttle response. Our technicians tall us that replacing the electronic throttle body will commonly correct this concern.